Pike vs. the Anxiety Raid Boss chronicles my quest to beat a bad case of “gaming anxiety” that crept up on me a few years back. Exciting! (Or not!)
Let me tell you, briefly, about my raiding history.
My raiding history involves raiding during Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King. It required lots and lots of tactical discussion on voice chat. It required lots and lots of commitment. It often required spending hours on one boss.
So hopefully you can’t blame me when the idea of pugging a raid kept me far away from LFR for a long time. I was convinced it was all a big train wreck waiting to happen.
Boy, was I wrong.
LFR is a glorious – and glorified – loot pinata.
It really felt quite weird. More than feeling like a raid, LFR felt like stumbling across some world boss, pulling together a hodgepodge group of random people, and then jumping right in. Oh, there are some gimmicks here and there, of course – you know, the one’s you’ve seen before if you’ve done any dungeon boss at all ever (Stay Out of The Bad, Move Away From/Towards The MacGuffin, Move Away From/Towards The Raid). But there was never really any sense of danger or urgency. Possibly because this raid has already been out for months. Or possibly because LFR really is that easy. Maybe it’s a mix of both? I’m not really sure yet.
The veteran cane-waving side of Pike who did hard modes back in the day found it all kind of underwhelming and perhaps just a bit silly, but the gaming-anxiety-riddled side of Pike was ecstatic. This was fun, easy, straight-forward, and dumped purples on me. And as silly as it sounds, it did wonders to boost my WoW self-esteem, and now I’m looking forward to more raiding adventures.
TLDR: If you have similar anxieties, I recommend jumping into one of the lower level raids in LFR. I promise it’s not nearly as scary as it sounds.
So long story short I didn’t play Cataclysm. I mean, I played it for about a month when it first came out, sure. I leveled my then-main to 85, felt terribly underwhelmed by everything, and then logged out in quest reward greens, not to return for a long time. This means I basically didn’t see any of the revamped vanilla stuff that Blizz made a big deal out of.
So, having been informed that some of it was actually good stuff, I’ve decided to do the Loremaster achievements. On a max level character because that way I can fly. Besides, I’m relatively certain a new character would outlevel all the zones before he or she could fully explore them, anyway. Even without heirlooms.
And so, I sent Althalor out into the world to start doing all these fancy new quests in the fancy new revamped zones.
All well and good, yes?
Well, yes, until you get to quests that require you to “weaken,” not kill, the enemy. Especially if these quests can’t be skipped if you want the stupid achievement.
How does a level 100 hunter such as myself deal with these quests? Like so:
STEP ONE: Take off every last bit of your gear.
STEP TWO: Fly up into the sky.
STEP THREE: Dismount.
STEP FOUR: Die.
STEP FIVE: Revive at the Spirit Healer, thus eating the rez sickness.
STEP SIX: Use freaking explosive trap of all things because punching people with your bare fists still one-shots level 46s.
Why must your torment us so, Blizzard? And why do I feel so compelled to do this in the name of a dumb achievement?
Blizzard successfully managed to put just about anything your character could ever need into Garrisons. There are even outhouses so you can answer nature’s call in private.
But you know what Garrisons are missing?
A bed. Seriously. Where is your character supposed to sleep? The floor?
Your followers get all those little cots in the Barracks, at least, but can your character fit in one? Of course not. Sorry Althalor, it’s the floor for you. At least he’s used to getting the short end of every stick. Poor guy.
IMO, Garrisons are, by and large, absolutely fantastic. It’s basically player housing except that you’re the quest giver handing out quests to your underlings, and it’s just really, really fun.
And that’s weird.
Because those of us who have been gaming for just about any length of time can recognize the way Blizzard has gamified the entire process of, well… work. Mobile and Facebook games have the art of “waiting” and “upgrading” down to a science, and garrisons are no different. It’s all just Farmville with a fancier skin. And yet, it’s something I can live with. Why?
Because my garrison feels like home.
That sounds cheesy but it’s true. You can customize it (to a degree – of course we’d all love to see more customization), it’s got your pets walking around, and it’s got NPCs and friends that you met along your journey hanging out. It’s your own little place – when you’re tired of dealing with people out in the world, you can go to your garrison and just chill.
And so, once again, I’ve let Blizzard sucker me into something. My mind says “No, Pike, this is just Farmville,” but my heart… my heart sais “No, Pike. This is home.”
It does, however, need an overhaul. Mostly because it’s REALLY UNWIELDY.
If I want to transmog into an awesome new set, I have to dig through my bank and my void storage, pull everything out, go over to the transmog guy, pay money to transmog every item one by one, then go back to the void storage guy and pay money to put my stuff back. It’s all a great big first world pain in the tushy.
So what should we do? Well, we should make it like Diablo 3’s system, or failing that (say if Blizzard wants to keep farming for transmoggable items a thing) then we should be allowed to stick all the gear for one set into, say, a box, and then be able to label that box and transmog into everything in that box at the click of a button.
Also it should be cheaper. Yeah, I said it.
What do you guys think?
Edit: I have been informed that I have been Wrong On The Internet and you can transmog from void storage. It’s still far too unwieldy because I still have to dig through all my different sets. I still want my gorram box. And it should still be cheaper!